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Friday, July 15, 2011

More older people in the workforce - less young faces

The TUC (the UK’s Trade Union organisation) has published a report called: Age and Gender -What has changed in the labour market in recent years. You can download some graphs and tables but they don't really add that much.

The bottom line is that :

  • 56.5% of people aged between 50 and 64 were in work in April 1992. This rose to 64.9% by December 2010.
  • Over the same period, the proportion of those aged over 64 in work rose from 5.5% to 9%.
  • In April 1992 48.8% of 16 and 17-year-olds were in employment, but that figure had dropped to around 23.6% by December 2010. Around two in three (65.8%) of 18 to 24-year-olds were working in April 1992, but this fell to around 58% by the end of 2010. Much of this is because of the increase uptake of higher education.

The TUC General Secretary was at pains to point at that : “Older people bring a wealth of skills and experience to the workplace. The increasing number of over 65s in work shows that older workers are highly valued and that the government is absolutely right to scrap the default retirement age.”

The guy also stressed that it is not a zero sum game (i.e. one employed older worker equals one less youth in employment).

Strangely, the report didn’t point out that 80% of new jobs generated in the UK were taken-up by overseas workers – mainly young people.

Whatever way you cut the numbers it shows that increasingly you are going to see older people in the workforce. A trend that will accelerate. Dick Stroud

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